Pagan Online

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Pagan Online Game Poster Image
Fun fantasy tale taps into Slavic myths for epic adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The idea is to save the world by restoring the Gods, but that's done solely through violence. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

"Heroes" use their skills for good, but those skills involve killing enemies.

Ease of Play

The game includes a reasonably good tutorial that teaches the basics. Late game progression takes a lot of work to succeed against difficult enemies.

Violence

Combat in the game is near-constant; players are rewarded for killing using weapons like swords, bows, and magical powers. Environments can be scattered with dead bodies and blood, though the top down perspective limits the impact of the violence.

Sex
Language

Unmoderated chat could expose players to inappropriate content.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pagan Online is a downloadable fantasy action role-playing game (ARPG) for Windows PCs based loosely on Slavic mythology. It involves near-constant violence (with blood and dead bodies) and rewards players for killing both monsters and humans with weapons like swords, bows, or magical attacks. The top-down perspective limits the impact of the violence. The Pantheon (the game's social hub) contains player chat where kids could be exposed to profanity, suggestive comments or harassment. The same could happen for kids who join the game's Discord (text/voice chat service) community. The game's crafting contains an element of gambling, and two-player multiplayer co-op lets players Friend one another and invite strangers to join their games. 

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What's it about?

PAGAN ONLINE is a fantasy action role-playing game (ARPG) based on Slavic mythology that lets players become one of ten powerful heroes tasked with saving the world from a growing darkness. Players start by choosing one hero and powering him or her up. This is done by progressing through the single player story Campaign and completing side modes such as Missions, Assassinations, and Hunts. All modes involve exploring maps from a top-down point of view, killing waves of enemies and collecting raw materials for crafting. Some maps also contain Battle Chests containing extra loot if players kill all enemies within a certain time frame. Upon completing Campaign or side modes, players get gold, Hero Shards (which unlock additional Heroes) and weapons and armor which they can either use or sell. A built-in crafting system lets players craft their own gear, and Heroes' unique skill trees let players spend experience points to gain new skills or upgrade existing ones. Multiplayer co-op lets two players take on missions together as well to increase their rewards and the game's challenge.

Is it any good?

Gameplay in this action role-playing game covers familiar ground, calling to mind classic games of this explore and loot genre. For many gamers, Pagan Online's fresh take on fantasy (based on little-known Slavic myth) and colorful graphics make buying it a safe bet, but for some gamers, only its restrictive skill tree and un-intuitive interface could cause buyer's remorse. The first few hours are good fun. You can choose among ten cool heroes (you can test drive them all before choosing) and Campaign mode lets you familiarize yourself with their powers as you progress through an interesting, well-written story. Unfortunately, heroes are disappointing to some degree since skill progression is very linear, meaning hours of using the same few abilities. The skill interface itself is a problem since it's laid out poorly and partly cut off the screen by default. (It can be moved with the right mouse button, but the game doesn't tell you that.) This makes skill buying problematic, since available skills and experience points aren't clear.

Bothersome as this is, there's still fun to be had. For most ARPG fans, it's all about loot, and there's plenty of that here. Completing missions and beating boss monsters results in a shower of it. Between missions, you can sell whatever you don't need, manage your loot stash, or craft more loot by tossing raw materials into what's essentially a demonic slot machine. Crafting's definitely fun (especially since you can reforge items until you get what you want) and collecting materials makes it easier to replay the Campaign and side missions. The game's graphics make this easier too, offering a range of interesting-looking heroes (each with a range of cool alternate skins) and an array of beautiful, spooky environments. Though replayability is somewhat limited by the game's lack of a versus multiplayer mode, the process of unlocking and upgrading new heroes should keep all but the most hard-core ARPG gamers going for a good long while. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online safety. Do your kids know to ask permission before activating voice chat for different online games? Why is it important that you don't give out personal information when you're playing with strangers?

  • Why are you drawn to playing some characters and not others? Are there certain characteristics of hero characters that are more appealing than others? Do you think these are the same for your friends or family?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action role-playing games

Themes & Topics

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